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Maui Invitational Changing Locations This Year

Photo by Andrew Ferguson/Tennessee Athletics

The 2023 Maui Invitational is moving to Honolulu after wildfires ravaged Maui last month, The Athletic’s Dana O’Neil first reported Tuesday morning and Tennessee confirmed Friday.

Tennessee is part of a loaded eight team field in this year’s Maui Invitational which takes place from Nov. 20-22— the Monday to Wednesday of Thanksgiving week.

The strong field includes Chaminade, Gonzaga, Kansas, Marquette, Purdue, Syracuse and UCLA in additional to Tennessee. Six of the eight teams are in The Athletic’s preseason top 25, including Kansas, Marquette, Purdue and Tennessee who rank in the top five.

Rick Barnes’ ninth Tennessee team faces Syracuse in the first round of the event before facing Gonzaga or Purdue in its second game. The Vols have faced both programs multiple times during Barnes tenure. Tennessee has faced Purdue twice including in the 2019 Sweet 16 and has faced Gonzaga three times in addition to last season’s exhibition game in Frisco.

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Chaminade, Kansas, Marquette and UCLA make up the other side of the bracket. Tennessee will play one of the four teams in its final game in the tournament.

Tennessee has played in an early season tournament every year of Barnes’ tenure including the 2016 Maui Invitational. Last season, the Vols won the Battle 4 Atlantis using wins over Butler, Southern Cal and Kansas to win the tournament.

While Tennessee won’t be visiting Maui this season due to the wildfires, they are raising money for the relief efforts. The Vols are facing Michigan State in a preseason exhibition game in East Lansing with all proceeds going to the Hawai’i Community Foundation Maui Strong Fund.

Expectations are high for Rick Barnes’ ninth Tennessee team. The Vols are almost a unanimous preseason top 10 team thanks to key returners Zakai Zeigler, Santiago Vescovi and Josiah-Jordan James including talented scoring newcomers Freddie Dilione (redshirt freshman) and Dalton Knecht (Northern Colorado transfer).

Tennessee also returners a number of players looking to take a step forward in its second or third-year in the program: Tobe Awaka, Jonas Aidoo and Jahmai Mashack.

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